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Plaid Cymru challenges Labour to match ambition on fair funding

14/04/2022

Plaid Cymru has called on Labour’s leading spokesperson on the Economy for Wales to match their ambition.  Plaid Cymru has called on Ed Balls to make it clear exactly where his party stands on fair funding for Wales, specifically on full reform of the Barnett formula.

 

Whilst Plaid Cymru has led the campaign to reform the way Wales is funded, and address the £300m a year that Wales is missing out on as a result of the way successive Labour and Conservative governments have treated Wales, Labour’s own position has been highly inconsistent.  The party in Wales, as a result of Plaid Cymru’s insistence, signed up to holding an independent commission into the way Wales is funded.  However, Labour’s lead spokesperson on the Economy, Ed Balls, has consistently refused to support Wales, even publicly stating that in his view Wales had ‘disproportionately benefited’ as a result of the Barnett formula. 

 

Helen Mary Jones, said:

 

“Labour has dragged its feet on this issue for so long it is remarkable.  As a result of recent Freedom of Information releases it has been revealed that Labour barely lifted a finger to address this problem until Plaid Cymru forced them to investigate the matter.  The findings of those investigations have been conclusive and vindicated Plaid Cymru’s view that there needs to be fundamental reform.  Despite this Labour is still in denial that there needs to be a new long term and sustainable arrangement rather than short term fixes.

 

“The person who ultimately decides Labour’s policy is not any Welsh politician but Ed Balls.  Where does he stand on this?  Does he support Plaid Cymru in our calls for full and fair reforms?  Does he want some half-way house approach or does he retain his view that Wales benefits from the way we are under funded?

 

“Thanks to Plaid Cymru’s insistence the independent Holtham Commission proved beyond doubt that Wales was missing out on a staggering £300m every year.  Still we know that even after that case was made Labour when in power in Westminster with the opportunity to act did nothing.  That failure should not be rewarded.

 

“Wales has lost out on hundreds of millions in funding because of Labour’s inaction.  If Labour is serious about standing up for Wales nothing short of matching Plaid Cymru’s ambition of seeing full reform of the way Wales is funded is acceptable.  Anything else will send a clear message that Labour continue to put the interests of Westminster above the interests of Wales.”